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Saturday, September 29, 2012

Redefining Relationships

We are in a time now where it has become possible to reach out far beyond our own neighborhoods and even our own borders to connect with a wider group of people. Because of the internet and social blogging/networking sites we meet a plethora of groups of people from every walk of life. Sometimes deep and abiding friendships are formed. Binding us for many years to relationships of support, camaraderie and sometimes everlasting love.

The very fact that we "talk" with these friends so easily via our computers cements the familiarity we feel. We get to know their families, their friends and we exchange a lifetime of stories that help us to know each other in sometimes intimate ways. We could be no more greatly connected than if we lived with these people in our own neighborhoods for our entire lives. W know their triumphs, their sorrows, and their joys. We become friends in every sense of the word.
Many times people find those who become their life partners on the internet. And even when it might take many years to finally find a way to manifest into each others physical reality, the time and distance has no bearing on the emotional attachment and commitment the two develop.

I've known personally many of my friends who have traversed this unfamiliar path. Finding ways to navigate these new waters with grace and dignity, selflessness, love and commitment. Some have moved great distances, even leaving their own homelands to be with their loved one. Others have had to let it go and walk away, finding that the distance and the effort and money spent trying to build a life together, too much of a burden, the forced separation, too painful to bear. Some of the difficulties couples like this who desire to be together, is made more impossible by government regulations about travel, immigration, citizenship and health care.

There are as many different situations as there are people who create them. No one way is the right way to continue and develop relationships in this ever shifting time we fine ourselves in now. What if you find yourself in a relationship that seems to be at a standstill? What if your plans and dreams to be united with a loved one seems to be taking forever in becoming a reality?

This forces us to take a moment to think of what we are giving and getting from these kinds of relationships. We have apparently created them this way for our personal life lessons. We must look inside and ask why are we continuing when so many obstacles stand before us. I might interject here that we put those obstacles up. We are not victims of some outside invisible force that puts them there. The obstacles we create have their functions. And when we are done with whatever lesson that obstacle was in place for, it seems to disappear.

The most important thing in this globalized neighborhood I think we should remember, is to find the joy in every relationship. Look for the love that is there. Sometimes when two are joined, one of the two will be able to do more, or give more at some particular time than the other. That's ok as long as the one giving realizes that's the job they took on. If one feels they are getting depleted or tired or discouraged, there is no shortage of friends they can find, that give back support to them that can lift them back up again. If a relationship hurts beyond bearing you can let it go. But remember that you might have decided yourself to experience that kind of hurt and disappointment. We are all mirrors for each other. Every time you draw someone in that causes heartache you must ask yourself, "what did I need that for? What is it about me that I am wanting to learn?" When you are able to answer that question honestly, you can be grateful to the one who held that mirror up for you, that they agreed to help you in that way, and you can love them for that.

Yes, we are in a time of re-defining relationships. We no longer are limited to the way of living in a community for all our lives, seeing the same faces, marrying and raising our children in that same community. We are reaching out, we are expanding our horizons and our way of living. Sometimes we might "know" someone online for many years without ever meeting face to face but we grow very fond of and we love deeply. We spend many years laughing together, crying together, arguing together. Never meeting face to face does not diminish the emotional commitment we make to each other. But it does mean that we are learning a new way to be together. To be connected.



  1. I agree the Internet has had a powerful effect on relationships.

    Just because we feel connected online though, that doesn't necessarily mean you're going to click in person. I spent some time with an online friend last year and we found each other very different than our virtual personas. We even had a fight the night before he flew back home, and it seemed it was all finished between us.

    However, we're emailing again and having quite friendly talks again. But we are clear now that we are friends, period. Sometimes friendships are better at a distance!

    1. Jen, that is sort of what I was thinking and the reason I wrote this post. You and your friend learned that in pursuing realtionships over the internet that the best way to "be" is to keep it simple and remain at a distance. Good for you both for finding a way to continue with your friendship that works for you both rather than give it up entirely. Tradition is good when it works but new ways to define relationships are just as valid when they work. And not all solutions work for all.

  2. I cannot believe that I just lost my comment!

    I agree with you - the internet, especially blog and social sites, have made the world a global village where people of all types can interact. In this day and age we can interact with people of all creeds, cultures and races and learn so much from each other if we have a mind to.

    I'm amazed at how some women just gel. I've been fortunate as I've developed some really 'intimate' friendships with people I have never met but feel as though I've known them outside of cyberspace for years. We share, we laugh, we cry, we pray and we listen. I have had two hiccups although I didn't get that close to either of the people concerned. One was just self absorbed and nasty so I removed myself but the other one, I gave the benefit of the doubt. Better I hadn't.

    Male and female on line relationships? I have seen a couple of disasters. Any woman packing up her entire life and moving to the other side of the world without even having met the person she's going to shack up with, needs her head looking at and vice versa! That tells me a great deal about the person who may be very nice, loveable and normally what appears to be level headed. It tells me that some people need to have a man/woman in their lives because they think it will make them whole, happy, fulfil their needs etc etc.... doesn't work like that. I saw another couple living countries apart, continue to try for a long time and that eventually died acrimoniously because he didn't want what she wanted. He was happy with a long distance relationship with occasional trips to meet one another. No commitment. But then again that can happen in face to face relationships too.

    Internet makes it easy to play out fantasies if one is not very careful. And on line relationships just as face to face relationships, when they go bad, hurt.

    1. "Any woman packing up her entire life and moving to the other side of the world without even having met the person she's going to shack up with, needs her head looking at and vice versa!" Kind of a harsh judgement but I can understand in a way if you feel that it's valid, seeing as you have stated you have seen such a disaster. However, I have seen happy endings to such arrangements at least a couple of times. I know a woman who is a very dear friend of mine who packed up her life and moved from America to England to marry the love of her life and they have been married for 12 years and have a wonderful 11 year old son.

      Like I said, there is no wrong way to navigate these strange and new waters we find ourselves in. We all are doing the best we can with what we have at our desposal. What will work for one might not work for anyone else. True there are disasters. But haven't there been disaters in relationships from the beginning of time? Look at Romeo and Juliet. Even if that was a fiction romance, we still have seen many examples just like it, long before there was global community.

      My purpose in examining this new playing field is just to observe that it IS new and we are forging new roads and sailing new and strange waters.

  3. Oh dear, the comment wasn't meant to be harsh at all but I can see why you would think it was. Neither was it meant to be unkind.

    I am glad that people manage to meet on line and live happily ever after but I honestly think those fortunate people are in the minority.

    1. As far as the fortunate ones being in the minority, I hope not Bee, because I'm nurturing one right now and have been for some years now. Fingers crossed it all works out for the best :-)

  4. I will keep everything crossed for you. What I like about this is that you say 'for some years now' which puts a whole different slant on things. When I said what I did it was really about people who dive into those relationships without much thought and don't take the time to really get to know the person they're interacting with.

    You go girl and keep me posted. Loads of luck. I'm thrilled for you.

  5. Yeah, it seems like the years are piling up lol. Thanks for the crossed fingers Bee.